Finally the time has come for the reveal in this the second of Mallory Hoffman's & my Artistic Challenges.
After our initial Artistic Challenge, Crush on Copper, we decided because of the time constraints that December brings (especially when you have a very important wedding taking place just 7 days before Christmas!!) we'd keep this months challenge simple.
The plan was that we'd highlight the extreme seasonal differences that our localities half a world apart afford us at Christmas time. You'd be surprised at the things you don't think of when you take the climate where you live for granted - the seemingly small differences that aren't due to any customs as such at all, but rather dictated by the weather as to what is available.
This summer, so far we have been blessed with incredible weather - so knowing that Christmas day was likely to be sunny & hot I focussed planning for our family Christmas to be primarily outdoors....& for the food to be kept simple in order that everyone could relax & enjoy themselves.
The weather came to the party providing us with a bright blue sky & fluffy white cotton balls...until about 9.30am when they had all but disappeared & leaving us with bright hot sun.
Just as well I had planned to borrow my brothers portable gazebo so the kids, big, small & 4 legged, had somewhere to play safely away from the harmful rays!
Those that had prepared the salads & desserts were quite happy to sit back & relax for a bit while others attended to the BBQ.
I truly do expect that this was the first time my wonderful sister in law Jackie had really sat down for longer than 5 minutes in the last month!
The array of salads - with a noodle salad on the far end (with a dressing that is to die for!!). Next to that was the most delicious Potato Salad prepared by the former 'terrible teen'& budding chef, Michaela! Mum's stuffing which is an absolute must, & the pièce de résistance of any event that I can manage to get her to make it for resides firmly at the centre of attention, even with BBQ'd meats! A fresh lettuce salad & a lovely Pasta salad finished off the array.
It was kind of cool that the lettuces & cabbage were picked fresh out of our garden that morning.
The meat maestro's at work - my beautiful new daughter in law Kerry, & my eldest son Jeremy.
Offering refreshment to the vege garden!!
Jackie's wonderful Pavlova with fresh berries on top...
Fresh fruit salad
For us the Christmas celebration runs over two days. December 26th, Boxing Day, is also my Mum's Birthday. This year she turned a sprightly 73 years young. While the family were together again on Boxing Day a few of us took the chance to go to the beach together. It was an overcast day & a little cooler than the day before - but the beach was calm & wonderful. Even if we did take a 10 kilometre round walk through Bottle Lake Plantation.....
The grandpuppies enjoyed it too....
I cheated & finally decorated the tree on Christmas eve, mainly because I wanted it to feel like Christmas for my nieces & nephew. May I add right here that around 11pm on Christmas eve is a darn bad time to discover that the light set you chose out of the three available & which you didn't check before you put them on the tree, aren't working.....
More in keeping with this Christmas theme would have been this, a Feijoa in flower.
Maybe that is an idea for next year :)
As I mentioned in my previous post, this was a blessed Christmas. Surrounded by all those that I love meant more to me than anything - it also offered up a wonderful surprise. But more about that later!!